Peter A. Eklund was recently named one of the elite national quarter-finalists for the first-ever GRAMMY® NATIONAL MUSIC TEACHER OF THE YEAR (out of over 30,000 nominees). During the fall of 2014, he was presented the prestigious "Director of the Year" award by the Nebraska Choral Directors Association. He annually conducts instrumental and choral ensembles in no fewer than eight European countries and throughout North America. One of the most active and versatile international conductors today, Peter A. Eklund possesses a unique ability to work effectively with musicians at all levels of performing capability and experience. His concertizing/clinician schedule averages 60 national and international concerts annually and includes a wide array of scholarly, professional, orchestral, collegiate, liturgical, festival, all-star, and youth/student ensembles throughout North America and Europe. Trained as a classical pianist and organist in the finest traditions of Western historical music, he now is also a strong advocate for ethnic and world music spanning all genres. He counts among his early musical influences the numerous local concerts that he and his grandfather attended of local renowned Big Band performances by Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, and many others in the local high school auditorium.